Innovative leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but there are seven key characteristics that they all have in common. Read through each and see where you can develop these characteristics in yourself to improve your leadership qualities.
1. Strategic Vision
Every innovative leader has a vision for where they want to go and a strategy for how to get there. They can apply their strategy ideas to see what works and what doesn’t, and then evaluate the results of their efforts against their vision.
2. Good Listening Skills
Innovative leaders listen more than they talk. Rather than sharing their own ideas, they listen to the ideas of team members, colleagues, thought leaders, and customers. This is valuable information that directs the leader toward the right course of action.
3. An Instrument for Change
To an innovative leader, the status quo is the enemy. Even when things seem to be going perfectly well, a leader looks for changes and opportunities. A leader lives in the future and can’t help making the changes he or she thinks need to be changed. A leader is also flexible and can handle it when things don’t turn out as planned.
Leaders aren’t afraid to take risks and they see failure as a learning opportunity. Everything gets chalked up to experience. Study the life of any great innovator and you’ll see that there were 99 failures before the smashing success that changed the world. A good leader can separate their ego and emotions from the outcomes of their actions.
5. Good Communication
A leader communicates directly and openly with others. He or she is accessible and the members of his or her organization feel comfortable approaching him or her. A good leader also facilitates good communication in their team and throughout their organization.
6. A Curious Nature
Leaders are relentless question askers. They want to know everything about everything because you never know what kind of information you can use. Even for matters that don’t seem to directly influence business, they want to know. Knowledge is power and a good leader wants to know a great deal across fields.
7. Good Company
People with the above qualities surround themselves with similar individuals. They choose people for their team or organization that display the same leadership abilities, and they don’t waste their time with people who are negative or toxic to the work environment. This creates an organization where everyone is a leader and it’s not a top-down organization. With each person contributing, an organization can reach its fullest potential.
The good news is that these seven qualities can all be learned. They don’t have to be natural strengths. You can work on cultivating these qualities in yourself, and you can also create an organizational culture that encourages these traits.
Want to learn more about how to hone your leadership skillset?
Then, check out our course, Leading and Coaching – How to Develop and Guide Your Business Team…